Athletes of the Week
Jantel Lavender, a sophomore on the women’s basketball team, averaged 28.5 points, 9.5 rebounds and shot 78.1 percent from the field as the Buckeyes beat Delaware State and Michigan last week. In the win over Delaware State, Lavender scored a season-high 29 points on 12-of-13 shooting (.923) — tying for the second-highest FG percentage in school history. She also had 11 rebounds for her 11th double-double of the season and hit all five attempts at the line. Then in the conference opener against Michigan, Lavender scored 28 points and had eight rebounds as Ohio State defeated the Wolverines for the 11th-consecutive time.

B.J. Mullens, a freshman center on the men’s basketball team, made his first career start vs. Jacksonville, scoring nine points by going 4-for-6 from the field and 1-for-1 from the charity stripe before posting a career-high 19 points against UNC Ashville Dec. 22. Mullens also added a season-high three blocks vs. the Bulldogs.

Athletics Good Stuff

The Ohio State University Alumni Association is sponsoring the Beat Hunger Bowl Challenge in conjunction with the Buckeyes’ appearance in the Fiesta Bowl Jan. 5, 2009. The Beat Hunger Bowl Challenge is a nationwide food drive powered by the Association and its constituent groups. Alumni groups around the country are being encouraged to adopt and support a food pantry in their area. The Association itself is directing its efforts to the Mid-Ohio Foodbank.

No. 16 Men’s Basketball (8-0; 0-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Thad Matta
Ohio State improved to 7-0 following an 81-68 victory over Jacksonville in Value City Arena Dec. 17. Junior David Lighty tied his career best with a game-high 21 points. Lighty went 7-of-8 from the field and 5-of-7 from the free-throw line. He also tallied four assists, seven rebounds and three steals.
With a 3-point basket in the first half, junior Jeremie Simmons continued his streak of scoring beyond the arc in every game this season. Simmons also went 2-for-4 from 3-point range and now is 12-for-34 on the year.
In a 71-53 win over Iona in Value City Arena Dec. 20, sophomore Jon Diebler earned career highs in free throws made and attempted by going 11-for-12 from the line.
Freshman B.J. Mullens made his first career start vs. the Gaels. He scored nine points, all in the first half, by going 4-for-6 from the field and 1-for-1 from the charity stripe. Mullens also had a career-high tying two blocks and four boards.
Up Next: vs. West Virginia, 4 p.m. Dec. 27 in Value City Arena (Television: CBS)
vs. Iowa, 4 p.m. Dec. 31 in Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)
at Minnesota, noon Jan. 3 in Minneapolis, Minn. (Television: Big Ten Network)

No. 18 Women’s Basketball (10-2; 1-0 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Jim Foster
Playing in Nationwide Arena in downtown Columbus for the first time, Ohio State defeated Cleveland State, 68-54, Dec. 15.
Sophomore Jantel Lavender recorded her 10th double-double in as many games this season and the 23rd of her career. She finished with 18 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
Playing for the second-consecutive night, the Buckeyes held Delaware State to just 35 points in a 68-35 victory Dec. 16 in Value City Arena. It is the fewest points allowed by Ohio State since holding Colgate to 26 points last season.
Lavender was 12-of-13 from the field for a 92.3 percent clip. It was the second-highest FG percentage by a Buckeye since Tracey Hall shot an identical 92.3 percent (12-of-13) Nov. 29, 1984 in a win over Cincinnati. Jessica Davenport holds the Ohio State record for FG percentage (minimum 10 attempts) in a game when she shot 10-for-10 in a 73-67 win over West Virginia in the 2004 NCAA Tournament.
The Buckeyes opened Big Ten Conference play against Michigan Dec. 21 in Value City Arena and handed the Wolverines a 70-50 loss.
Ohio State has won the last 11 meetings against Michigan and leads the all-time series, 44-6. The Buckeyes lead 24-2 all-time in games played in Columbus. The Scarlet and Gray has won 35 of its last 36 Big Ten regular-season games at home and 64 of its last 73 overall.
Ohio State head coaches Jim Foster (women’s basketball), Thad Matta (men’s basketball) and Jim Tressel (football) are a combined 23-2 against Michigan teams in their respective Ohio State tenures. Foster is now 9-0, while Matta and Tressel are both 7-1.
Lavender led all players with 28 points and eight rebounds, failing to record a double-double for the first time this season.
Up Next: at Northwestern, 2 p.m. Dec. 31 in Evanston, Ill.
vs. Michigan State, 2 p.m. Jan. 4 in Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)

Football (10-2; 7-1 Big Ten)
Head Coach: Jim Tressel
Marcus Freeman was named a finalist for the sixth-annual Bobby Bowden Award by the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Dec. 22. The award recognizes the Division 1A football player who epitomizes the student-athlete who conducts himself as a faith model in the community, in the classroom and on the field. Nominees must have a 3.0 GPA or better. He must also have the backing of his school’s athletic director and head football coach.
Pro Football Weekly named seniors James Laurinaitis and Malcolm Jenkins to its All-America team for college football. The team annually honors the most talented players in college football and is determined based on considerable feedback from NFL evaluators taking into consideration a player’s pure talent and contribution to his team. Chris Wells was an honorable mention honoree as well.

Men’s Lacrosse
Head Coach: Nick Myers
Led by senior attackman Joel Dalgarno’s first-team selection, Ohio State had three players named to the Inside Lacrosse Face-Off Yearbook 2009 Preseason All-America Team. Junior midfielder James Green and senior defender Scott Matthews were second-team choices.

Women’s Swimming
Head Coach: Bill Dorenkott
Head coach Bill Dorenkott announced seniors Courtney Brayman and Griet Buelens, as well as junior Jill Lockhart will serve as 2008-09 team captains Dec. 19.
Up Next: vs. Wright State, 5 p.m. Jan. 9 in McCorkle Aquatic Pavilion
at Indiana, vs. Missouri, noon Jan. 17 in Bloomington, Ind.

Ohio State Athletics Schedule
Dec. 23-Jan. 4

Dec. 27
MBKB vs. West Virginia, 4 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena (Television: CBS)

Dec. 31
WBKB at Northwestern, 2 p.m.
Evanston, Ill.

MBKB vs. Iowa, 4 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)

Jan. 2
Ohio Hockey Classic in Value City Arena
Miami vs. Clarkson, 5:05 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Army, 8:05 p.m.

MVB vs. Waterloo, 7 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
St. John Arena

WHKY vs. Boston University, 7:07 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
OSU Ice Rink

Jan. 3
MBKB at Minnesota, noon
Minneapolis, Minn. (Television: Big Ten Network)

WHKY vs. Boston University, 4:07 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
OSU Ice Rink

Ohio Hockey Classic in Value City Arena
Army vs. Miami/Clarkson (Championship or Consolation), 5:05 p.m.
Ohio State vs. Miami/Clarkson (Championship or Consolation), 8:05 p.m.

MVB vs. Waterloo, 7 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
St. John Arena

Jan. 4
WBKB vs. Michigan State, 2 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
Value City Arena (Television: Big Ten Network)

WR vs. Kent State, 5 p.m.
Columbus, Ohio
St. John Arena